In order to study abroad for a semester or year, students should contact the Office of Off-Campus Studies.
Once approved and before leaving for the semester abroad, you should meet with the International Student Advisor to update the I-20 to reflect that you will be out of the United States for more that 5 months while studying abroad. You will need to send your I-20 back to the International Student Advisor midway through your experience to have it signed and then sent back to you.
Other Important Items
Every F-1 student must submit a US income tax form, even if you did not work in the US.
If you will be out of the country during the spring semester then you will need to contact the International Student Advisor during the fall semester to discuss how you will file your taxes.
You will need to forward your mail as sending it to your home country is not feasible. Many students forward their mail to the International Student Advisor so that any important items can be addressed immediately.
To forward your mail:
- Contact the International Student Advisor as a courtesy, and signal any important items that may arrive after your departure (medical or other bills, etc.).
- Contact the Post Office and let them know where you would like your mail forwarded.
- Stop by the IRC after your return and pick up your mail.
One of the biggest mistakes students abroad make is not to check their Gettysburg email. Important college announcements will still arrive through email so you should try to check it as often as you can.
Many times when you are abroad you will be able to check Facebook quickly while your email will take longer. If you are unable to check your email, let the International Student Advisor know and you can communicate through Facebook instead. Be sure to share all your wonderful experiences and accomplishments!